04 Dec
 Amelia Earhart Mystery Solved…Again, or Finally? Amelia Earhart Mystery Solved…Again, or Finally?

Amelia Earhart Mystery Solved…Again, or Finally?

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According to a University of Tennessee researcher, human remains found on an isolated South Pacific island appear to be those of famed American aviator Amelia Earhart, whose plane disappeared while she was trying to circumnavigate the globe with her navigator, Fred Noonan.

Richard Jantz, professor emeritus of anthropology and director emeritus of the university's Forensic Anthropology Center, decided to take another look at seven bone measurements conducted in 1940 by physician D. W. Hoodless, who determined that the bones were those of a human male.

Jantz implemented a handful of scientific techniques such a computer program called Fordisc that can gauge ancestry, gender, and stature from skeletal measurements. In so doing, Jantz concluded that Hoodless had arrived at a mistaken assignment of gender for the remains. Jantz co-created the Fordisc program, used by board-certified forensic anthropologists the world over.

The data indicated that the bones bear a greater resemblance to Earhart than to 99 per cent of people in a sizable reference sample.

In a press release, Jantz noted that his questioning of Hoodless's conclusion was due to the state of forensic anthropology in the 1940s and not due to any incompetence.

“Forensic anthropology was not well developed in the early 20th century,” his paper states. “There are many examples of erroneous assessments by anthropologists of the period. We can agree that Hoodless may have done as well as most analysts of the time could have done, but this does not mean his analysis was correct.”

Jantz considered other theories, including those traced to a shipwreck or a native Pacific Islander, but concluded, "human remains were discovered which are entirely consistent with [Earhart] and inconsistent with most other people.”

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Read 515 times Last modified on Monday, 26 November 2018 05:18
Jim Lillie

Jim began writing for newspapers and designing for publishing companies at a time when both industries were just beginning to make the switch from manual to digital platforms. Jim lives in Boulder, Colorado with his teenage son.

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